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President Wilson outlines a 'framework for stability and affordability

University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today said that the UMass funding level put forward in the proposed Senate budget "could become part of a financial framework that would allow us to seek no fee increase beyond the student-charge levels established last year."

President Wilson said the $439 million University of Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2011 state appropriation proposed by the Senate, coupled with the $49.3 million in federal stimulus funding Gov. Patrick proposed earlier this year, "constitutes a formula for financial stability and for continued affordability for our students and their parents."

"This funding approach would allow the University of Massachusetts to continue to navigate its way through these challenging economic times and would help to keep UMass strong and vibrant," President Wilson said.

"This is of particular importance at a time when the citizens of the Commonwealth are flocking to our doors and are applying and enrolling at record numbers," President Wilson added.

New data show that the campuses of the University of Massachusetts received 54,259 freshman applications during the recent admissions cycle, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. The University's flagship campus in Amherst, which received a record 31,300 freshman applications, says it expects to enroll one of its most accomplished classes in the fall, attracting top students from Massachusetts and from across the nation.

The state funding level advanced by the Senate and the federal stimulus funding proposed by the governor would allow the University of Massachusetts to not exceed the $1,500 fee increase approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2009. Lower levels of state and federal funding would set the stage for an additional fee increase, University officials have said. But President Wilson said that UMass is hoping that funding levels would be such that "the student charge structure approved last year would remain in place, as is."

"That would be the best-case scenario for our 66,000 students and their families," President Wilson added.

A Fiscal Year 2011 state budget was unveiled in the Senate yesterday. Once the Senate approves a budget, members of the House and Senate would meet in conference and the budget that emerges from the Legislature would then go to the governor.

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073


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Robert P. Connolly
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